Continuing with our series of articles regarding the U.S. Post “Black Heritage” series of stamps we begin with the 1979 stamp featuring Martin Luther King (born 1929 – assassinated 1968). Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian minister and desegregation activist, and played a leading role in the Civil Rights movement. In 1963, during the March on Washington, King delivered one of his most famous speeches: “I Have a Dream”. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his outstanding desegregation efforts.
Above, from 1986 is the popular jazz pianist, composer, and band leader Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, who wrote more than 6,000 songs during his long career, including ‘Satin Doll’, ‘Take the A Train’ and ‘Caravan‘. Ellington was hailed by some as the greatest composer American society has ever produced.
Also from 1986 was the stamp depicting Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). She was very involved with the evangelical movements of the mid-1800s in the United States, and was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Probably best-known for her speech on racial inequalities, “Ain’t I a Woman?,” delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Sojourner to the National Freedmen’s Relief Association in 1864, where she advised former slaves as they started their new lives as free men and women.
Matthew Alexander Henson (1866-1955) was an American explorer who accompanied compatriot Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic over a period of nearly 23 years. He played a key role in discovering and unlocking the North Pole in 1909.
Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what would later become Chicago, Illinois and is recognised as the “Founder of Chicago.” The site where he settled is near the mouth of the Chicago River. A school, a museum, harbour, park and bridge have been named in his honour.